Dig Dog

Dear J-

For about ten minutes last night we had a dog. theVet told me to stop the car while we were in the parking lot, coming home from dinner out after signing papers for escrow on the house, and I dutifully slammed away. She hopped out and came back a few seconds later with a little puppy — probably close to full-grown, but still with puppy teeth and energy — saying it had just darted at the car as we were puttering through the lot. She asked around if anyone had seen the dog before but no, it was an unfamiliar pup, and so the kids got to play with the dog for a little bit before we took it to the animal shelter and hopefully a nice reunion — at the very least it’s a no-kill shelter, so there’s no worries there.

I parked the car separately with the kids who hopped out as figgy was declaring that we’d better not keep that dog, we didn’t need a third pet, shaking her head like some curmudgeonly old lady, frowning at noise and how it would be with the cats. Then when we were all in the apartment together she laughed the loudest and said she’d miss her, after only a few licks to the face (the puppy was remarkably well-behaved and didn’t get into too much trouble with the cats). I fear sometimes that they’ll learn our lessons: we get what we want pretty much when we want it and there’s no getting around it. The more we worry about the lack of time we spend, or the things we are able to do, the more likely we are to let guilt override our judgment and overcompensate.

There is a balance in our lives not to be confused with a static stasis, a balance of what’s right and what’s deserved. At the moment the deserved account is running a bit dry; there’s been a lot of withdrawals and debits piling up, but I don’t know how to swing the balance sheet in the opposite directlion. Not yet. Put it this way: what do you need to be satisfied with what you’ve seen so far? More sleep. More gratitude. Consistency, in word and deed. Consequences. We need to find consequences that are immediate and severe enough to change minds, because using hollow threats is pretty obvious, and not having an immediate action makes it seem capricious later (or not important). Dig it.

Mike

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